FSR XC BB questions
I brought my FSR XC back to the LBS to adjust out some problems in my shifting. I had to point out to him maybe the bottom bracket being loose like it is is the problem for my ratchety shifts. I asked him could he please just tighten up the bottom bracket. He told my "my kind" is the kind you cannot tighten you have to replace it. He then tried to sell me the Hollow-tech Shimano XT crankset. I told him no thank you and came back here to you guys. Is it true I cannot adjust or tighten my stock bottom bracket? Can I go to something like a Race Face cranket with say a Giga-pipe if I want? I am not to keen on Shimano really. Thanks for your help. Can you guys suggest a descent semi-freeride crank/BB set-up? Thansk for your help.
The guy is bogus!
He either completely misunderstood you or was trying to rip you off. Of course you can tighten a BB! Maybe not rebuild it, but definately tighten it! If it's loose, it'll make a creaking, clicking noise, probably at the downstroke of either side.
Shimano makes good stuff. I don't know which model you have, but even the square taper BB's are fine at this price range. You can find brand new XT square tapers all over for under 15 bucks. Everytime I see one on Ebay or something, I buy it just because my XT cranks are too sweet to give up.
If you do upgrade, check out Beyondbikes.com You can get a Race Face Evolve DH X-type crankset and BB for 125 bucks! It's a double chainring w/ bashguard set up, but it's still really light and at that price and durability, it'll probably be the last crankset you'll buy! You could even remove the bashring and put on your old big ring, because it's 104mm spacing, 4 arm setup, just like the Shimano's.
I just put a Evolve XC crankset with an evolve xc BB on my FSR XC. With a Race Face bashguard, because I never use the big ring. The teeth on the big ring would get hungup when rolling over logs and roots in really steep techy stuff, so I dumped it. It's actually my G.F.'s bike that I built up for her.
"I wrote a hit play! What have you ever done?!"
Have Ashtray, Will Travel....
Most BB's now-a-days are not servicable, or are cheap enough that you don't need to service them. They are all in one units, if they go bad, they are landfill. If your BB is blown and is causing lateral movement, no, there won't be any adjustments, just toss it and buy another for 50 bucks if that. All BB's however have to be attached to the frame in some way right? Typically one end of the BB is threaded and the other end receives a cap. BB's like those from Phil Wood have caps on either end which makes setting them up a little trickier. Don't toss it if you have a phil wood bb though, cause those are servicable.
Anyway, you can definitely throw a wrench on the ends of the caps to tighten them up. Go find yourself a cool LBS and put your bike up on one of their racks and pull your crank arms. Then borrow their crankset tool and tighten it up, or better yet, pull it out, find out what you have - make sure to write it down, this will come in handy later, then put it back together using some blue loctite. Make sure you don't loose any of the spacers or any other stuff there with it, and remember precisely how you took it apart. Putting a washer on the wrong side means improper adjustment and shifting problems. If you find any crushed or worn washers, buy a new BB. While you are down there with everything apart, check to make sure there isn't any paint on the outside of the BB shell. If there is, remove the BB and lightly file it off. Be careful here.. if you don't feel comfortable doing this, you can have the LBS machine the paint off. It's important that your BB shell is the exact width that they claim otherwise you will get shifting problems.
If at this point you still have the problems, double check the setup in the online documentation. Most spec's that I've worked on have 68mm bb shells, but confirm this in your bike docs. Check online if you don't have those. If the guide to the BB says that you should have so many washers on one side or the other, and you remember otherwise, then it was put together wrong and you are missing parts. Buy a new one and avoid the hassles. If there were more washers than you need, take it back apart and remove some. Set it up right. If everything is perfect and you are still having problems (and you know that it's not a deraileur issue.. ??), take it all apart and using a dial caliper, measure the width of your bb shell. If it is narrower than what it was supposed to be, put more washers on, or buy a new bb and use the washers that came with it.
Proper indexing of your BB is important to precise shifting. Don't forget however that something simple like a bent cage on your deraileur can cause a ton of problems as well. Of course the obvious cleaning and lubing of the chain is manadory after each ride, unless its to the store or something. I would not go back to that shop either. Doesn't sound like they are trying to help you, just sell you stuff. They would likely laugh at you if you asked to do some quick work on your bike on one of their stands. My favorite LBS actually has a stand setup in the front with some tools secured with chains so you can do a little tinkering. Post on your local regional forum to help find one.
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